Valensole plateau is situated at an altitude of 500 metres in the south of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, near Digne-les-Bains and the Verdon gorges, and covers an area of 800 km². Fields of lavender, the famous Provençal scented plant, abound here, alongside wheat fields and a host of charming villages such as Saint-Martin-de-Brômes, Riez and Esparron-de-Verdon.
The best time for lovers of typical Provençal landscapes to visit is July, when Valensole plateau is awash with beautiful blue lavender in bloom. It’s a sight – and scent – to behold!
Many lavender distilleries are scattered about the countryside surrounding Valensole. We saw a few just on our drive into town, up the valley from Gréoux.
At present few of the Valensole distilleries are left that still uses the classic method: separating the flowers from the stalks, using the stalks to fuel the furnace and cooking the flowers – rather than throwing everything together into an hermetic pressure-cooker type of still.
Tourist Office in Valensole
Tel : 04 92 74 90 02
Located in the center near the fountain, down a few steps beside the lavoir.
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
Clos de Villeneuve: remarkable garden
Barrage de Gréoux: site of natural beauty (11km)
Lac d’Esparron: site of natural beauty (12km)
Lac de Quinson: site of natural beauty (17km)
Lac de Sainte-Croix: site of natural beauty (18km)
Prieuré Notre Dame (Ganagobie): religious monument (19km)
Moustiers: most beautiful village (19km)
Verdon: regional natural parc (20km)
Jardins du prieuré de Salagon: remarkable garden (21km)
Jardins du château de Sauvan: remarkable garden (21km)
The countryside all around (le plateau de Valensole) is pertectly beautiful especially in the spring when the almond trees are in bloom.
In the summer aromas of lavender and thym waft through the air confirming the fact that Valensole is one of the most important producers of lavender in Provence.
The historic centre of Valensole contains beautiful old houses in the colours of Provence, nicely restored and some with corbel arches, ogival doors, wrought-iron balconies and pretty shutters. There are chapels, fountains, in particular the very decorative fountain on the Place Thiers, and an impressive washhouse with five basins dating from 1681.
Two listed gardens invite you for a peaceful pause: the Clos de Villeneuve, labelled remarkable garden, and the Château du Grand Jardin.
Unless you prefer relaxing on the terrace of one of the friendly restaurants or cafés.
Many shops offer crafts and traditional products, especially ones made from lavender such as honey, essential oils, lavender ice cream, nougats and there are also truffles, another local speciality.
Foodies should head to the village of Valensole, famous for its subtle- and delicate-tasting lavender honey, to treat their taste buds!
Several lavender-related festivities are organised in the area: the Fête de la Lavande in Valensole in July, and the Corso de la Lavande and Foire de la Lavande in Digne-les-Bains in August.
Lavender grows in virtually every garden in the region, but the images visitors dream of capturing are of the spectacular fields of the Valensole Plateau that stretch as far as the eye can see. In the village of Valensole, you can also learn about the history of lavender cultivation and the traditions of Provence. The lavender fields are in bloom in the summer, and usually from mid June to mid July in this particular area.
You can join a tour of Valensole, which is normally half day guided tour. Choose between a morning, afternoon or full-day tour and then set out with your guide to wander around the violet-colored fields. Learn about the history of lavender production in the area, wander around a lavender farm and take some time to pose for pics in the middle of a lavender field. Highlights Morning, afternoon or full-day tour to the Provençal lavender fields from Aix-en-Provence Visit incredible stretches of lavender fields like Valensole Plateau or Plateau of Claparèdes Learn about the different lavender varieties from an expert guide Shop for artisan lavender oils and flowers to take home Visit pretty Luberon villages like Saignon, Gordes and Ste Croix de Verdon